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Author Elena Nikitina

 Author Elena Nikitina

About Elena  – 

Elena Nikitina was born in the city of Astrakhan, Russia, during the time of the Soviet Union.  In 1994, she was abducted by a Chechen gang, and taken to Grozny, the capital city of Chechnya.  She survived the First Russian-Chechen War, eventually escaping an abandoned mountain village.  She immigrated to the United States and received political asylum.  GIRL, TAKEN is Elena’s story.

Questions –

  1. When did you realize that you wanted to be an author?

Since my book GIRL, TAKEN is a true story, I have been nurturing the idea of bringing it into the world for a few years now.  I wasn’t quite sure and I did not feel completely safe, since the criminals that were involved were never caught.  It is a very emotional story for me and it took me over 20 years to be able to release it to the world.  I have kept it locked inside of me for that long.

  1. How long does it take for you to write one of your books?

The whole process of writing my first book took around 18 months.  The book is written in two languages: Russian and English.  The Russian version is titled НЕВОЛЯ, and the English version is GIRL, TAKEN.  The writing journey was pretty interesting and unique.  I wrote the Russian version first, and as soon as I translated parts into English, I sent them to Patrick Quinlan.  I was so lucky to find him – an awesome American writer that helped me all the way to polish my “broken English” translations, and to perfect the book.  We had been working together for a few months. Both versions were done by the Spring of 2017.  The best part of teamwork with Patrick Quinlan is that Patrick became one of my best friends.  We not only created a book, we created a friendship.

  1. How do you balance your work schedule when you’re busy writing?

 I’m a real estate agent licensed in the State of Ohio, so the flexible schedule of a realtor works fine for me.

  1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I like to write in the dark, totally isolated from the world.  Bananas help as well.

  1. How do you come up with ideas for your books?

My book is a true story about kidnapping and survival.  I wholeheartedly believe that the most interesting ideas are what life itself brings.  The most unusual stories happen in actuality.  The plot for my book took place in real life and I just described it in my own words.

  1. When did you write your first book?

I finished and published the book in September of 2017, which was a little over a month ago.

  1. What are your hobbies when you’re not writing?

I’m an artist at heart.  I enjoy painting and photography.  My other passions are Latin dance and shooting weapons at the range.  I love to work out and create things as well.  I love to design new stuff from scratch, or transform ugly things into beautiful ones.

  1. What does your family and close friends think of your writing?

They think I’m an amazing writer!  They love me too much.

  1. What was one of the most interesting things that you learned about yourself when you published your first book?

After I published the book, I was touched by the feedback I started receiving from both the people I knew, and from complete strangers. I was amazed to realize that my story and writing can affect people’s feelings in such a way.  It turned out that the book made them think about what’s important in their lives, and the meaning of life itself.  It’s a pretty astonishing feeling.

  1. How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?

I’ve written just one so far – it’s my only baby that I suffered to bring into the world as a result of my own experience.  I’m thinking of writing another book.  I enjoy the process of expressing myself through words.

  1. What do you think makes a good story?

A good story is when readers can feel your own genuine feelings and sincere emotions, and live “through” the story just by reading the words on paper.

  1. Where do you like to kick back and write your books?

I have my secret little corner where I can comfortably hide and be capable of producing words.

 

Contact Elena – 

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